"To advance research in nanoscale science, engineering and technology, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will provide a total of $81 million over five years to support 16 sites as part of a new National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI).
The NNCI sites will provide researchers from academia, government, and companies large and small with access to university user facilities with leading-edge fabrication and characterization tools, instrumentation, and expertise within all disciplines of nanoscale science, engineering and technology.
The NNCI framework builds on the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN), which enabled major discoveries, innovations, and contributions to education and commerce for more than 10 years." - NSF Press release Sep. 16th, 2015
NNCI at the Texas Nanofabrication Facility (TNF)
The Texas Nanofabrication Facility is a member of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), which is supported by the National Science Foundation (Grant ECCS-2025227) involves four UT institutions:
- Microelectronics Research Center (MRC)
- Texas Material Institute (TMI)
- The Center for Nano and Molecular Sciences (CNM)
- Nanomanufacturing System Center (NASCENT)
This partnership of centers is more than an aggregate of shared facilities; it is a network of 24 professionals (technicians, engineers, and administrative staff) dedicated to their user base: research associates, professors, start-ups, and small and large company users. Our vision is to enable and foster breakthrough nano-innovation in the areas of electronics, healthcare and energy – all of which have significant presence in Texas; while establishing educational activities in nanotechnology directed at engaging underrepresented minorities (URM) and women.
The Texas Nanofabrication Facility is built around the shared NNIN MRC facilities and experienced staff. The facilities at MRC includes 12,000 ft2 of class 100 and class 1000 cleanroom space for device processing and 15,000 ft2 of other labs housing ~70 shared nanofabrication and characterization tools. Capabilities in roll-to-roll manufacturing as well as wafer-scale nanoimprint and crystalline wafer exfoliation will be provided through NASCENT NERC staff for external users at a moderate fee. CNM brings a complementary suite of top down and bottom up nanofabrication tools. TMI greatly expands the microscopy (e.g., TEM, STEM, etc.) and surface characterization (e.g., TOF-SIMS, XPS, AES, Raman, etc.) capabilities.
The Social and Ethical Implications (SEI) effort led by Lee Ann Kahlor, (UT Moody College of Communication) will provide to new facilities users an informational session highlighting the benefits and challenges of considering SEI as an integral part of a responsible research project. The team will enhance the study of SEI of nanotechnology.
All technology has benefits and risks – and even scientists working at the most theoretical level in a lab must consider how their research and development (R&D) might make its way downstream to the public and environment.
The Social and Ethical Implications (SEI) research program at the University of Texas at Austin Texas Nanofabrication Facility (TNF) conducts research and trains researchers working at the nanoscale to better understand downstream impacts.
For any works done in the TNF shared faciliities, please use the suggested acknowledgements:This work was performed in part at the University of Texas Microelectronics Research Center, a member of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), which is supported by the National Science Foundation (grant ECCS-2025227).
NNCI Texas Nanofabrication Facility coordinator